California medical board to review physicians' FDA warning letters

Warning letters sent by the Food and Drug Administration to physicians who are providing potentially harmful services are now monitored by California's medical board, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here are four things to know:

1. A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation found 73 physicians nationwide had recently been the subject of an FDA warning letter, though only one was disciplined. The letters accuse the medical license-carrying physicians of serious problems during a five-year period.  

2. Some of the warnings included fertility clinics that failed to test egg and sperm donors for communicable diseases. Others involved physicians who didn't follow patient protection rules when patients volunteered for clinical trials.

3. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today said California's medical board began receiving the warning letters after the publications sent inquiries to the board. Spokesperson Carlos Villatoro told the publications via email that since June, "The Board reviews the letters and if they contain information regarding physicians licensed by the Board, the Board looks into the matter."

4. The FDA can only regulate products, but not the practices of medicine. It also can't discipline physicians. That's the job of state medical boards. However, the two sides don't often communicate, according to the Journal Sentinel

For the full report, click here.

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